TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - With more than 40,000 tickets sold there was a larger crowd than in past bowl games at Arizona Stadium, among those that attended were two special fans.
Bill Rice and his son Bill Rice Jr were just two of the thousands of New Mexico State Fans at the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl.
"We have been fans forever. We watched them come up and down. Football has kind of been down here, but we are back again and we are ready to do it," said Bill Jr.
Their excitement is more than the Aggies being back in a bowl game. Dad, Bill Rice has been waiting 57 years for this.
"Bowl games are hard to come by back in those days then they are now the Aggies the Sun Bowl victory they were 11-0 that year," said Rice Sr.
The last time the aggies were in a bowl game, it was 1960 and it was the Sun Bowl, where New Mexico State beat Utah State 20-13. Rice Sr was there, but he was only 23 years old, at Friday's game he is 80.
"We had a very good team, they were coached by Warren Woodson and we had one all American, Charlie Johnson," said Rice Sr. "One touchdown heck of a game it really was."
So when NMSU hit the field in Tucson, the Rice family knew they had to be in the stands.
"It is wonderful, I have been enjoying the heck out of it," said Rice Sr. "The game has been pretty even, everyone has made their mistakes. Still have hope that we can get out of here with a win."
They did, NMSU beat Utah State in overtime 26 - 20.